One in ten Canadians suffer from depression in their lifetime. Health research is often done without the input of patients and families who live with depression, people who care for those with depression, and health care professionals/clinicians who treat depression.

The Alberta Depression Research Priority Setting Project is a collaboration between the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit Patient Engagement Platform, the Addictions and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network and the Canadian Depression Research Intervention Network.

This multi-stage project includes a survey, literature review to eliminate what has already been studied in depression research, data analysis and priority setting for topics in depression research.

The key outcome of this project is that priorities – identified by persons with lived experience of depression – are implemented and acted upon as research questions by researchers and funders.

The names of the Steering Committee members can be found here.

The survey asked patients and clinicians for their input on what they think is missing or unknown in depression research. By completing the survey, participants provided valuable information that can influence those who conduct and fund research. The survey was voluntary, anonymous, confidential, and securely housed on the Alberta Innovates server.

Albertans contributed over 900 questions that was analyzed and sorted.  Many themes arose and all the information was consolidated and re-formatted into research questions.  Several stages of ranking occurred to get to a list of 25 questions that was available for the final priority setting workshop on June 12, 2017.

In the workshop, 22 participants (people with lived experience), three facilitators, three recorders and observers were part of an all-day process to discuss and rank the list of 25 questions.  The goal for the day was achieving a top 10 list, but the overall result created was a top 11 list of depression research questions.  This list will be promoted to researchers, funders, interested parties and the public to encourage that they do get researched.

<Alberta's Top 11 Depression Research Priorities

Alberta’s Top 11 Depression Research Priorities (click to download).

For more information:

Ping Mason-Lai, BA, MA
Associate Director, Patient Engagement Platform

Lorraine J. Breault, PhD, R. Psych.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
University of Alberta

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